FROM THE EDITOR YVONNE KERR
Would you want to live to be 100? The 2013 Census figures showed 580 people in New Zealand were aged 100, or older. That’s a combined age of at least 58,000 years. The mind boggles. What they have lived through! World Wars! The first TV! The first local radio!
None of the four interviewees in our cover story on page 8 expected to reach a century. They each display a remarkably lucid memory, and keep up with the world’s goings on. Our cover star Margaret Barns (101) says Trump is a “dangerous man”. Madeline Anderson (110, pictured right) thinks we’re not learning from our experiences of the past: “I don’t think we’ll ever learn how to stop fighting”.
Hector Hopkins (101) fought in WWII and finds the recent spate of terrorist attacks “distressing”. Centenarian Kath Anstey isn’t impressed with the tradition of getting a card from the Queen at 100: “It’s not personal... she doesn’t know me”. All onto it. Opinionated. Pragmatic. Optimistic.
Kath reckons she’d pass for someone in their 80s. Based on her luminous photograph, she definitely would. Margaret is a ray of light in her floral blouse, red shoes, white beads and a dash of lippie. Glam, even. She puts me to shame, leaving the house late for work sometimes when I haven’t even brushed my hair. Hector – so nonchalant about his age. He asks himself what he’s still doing here. “I’ve just lived”, he says. Yes, you have lived, for much, much, much longer than most. And Madeline, well, what’s to say about someone who is 110 and looks as good as she does?